Manage your energy costs

The network and metering charges form part of the electricity bill you receive from your energy retailer. The other main charge is for the electricity you consume.

There are two main ways you can manage the cost of electricity to your business. The first is by ensuring you are on the best tariff and plan for the nature of your business and in particular, maximising financial advantages offered by Time of Use tariff arrangements.

The second is to make the most of opportunities to improve energy efficiency in your operations including the management of network demand charges.

Network tariffs and charges

There are different classes of tariffs depending on whether you draw your power from low or high voltage networks. There are also different categories of tariffs depending on when you use the most power.

Full background on how our network tariffs and charges are set is provided in the Affordability section of our website.

Our Tariff Structure Statement that applies from 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2026 makes some significant changes to our tariffs to provide greater choice and control for business customers. Click here to view it now.

For small business customers consuming less than 40MWh per year, we’ve amended our time of use (ToU) tariff by introducing a shorter peak window of 9am to 9pm weekdays. This new tariff is now set as the default for customers upgrading to three-phase power supply and/or installing solar PV.

Any small businesses on the legacy ToU tariffs have been moved onto the new structure. There are no changes for small business customers consuming over 40MWh per year and less than 160MWh per year who are already on a demand tariff.

For large business customers using over 160MWh per year, we measure all demand between 8am and 8pm on weekdays. This provides an incentive for large businesses to, when possible, shift high electricity usage into times when lower tariff prices apply.

Click here to find more information about network charges for large electricity users. Please note that you’ll need to speak with your energy retailer to negotiate any changes to your tariff rates.

Improving workplace energy efficiency

By improving the energy efficiency of your business, you could be helping to reduce your electricity bill. The following are some initiatives you can undertake that may help – but we recommend you seek expert advice to decide the best option for your business. Specialist advisors can help with energy audits and technical support.

Workplace energy efficiency initiatives

  • Power factor correction

    Power factor is a measure of how effectively you are using your power inside your business. It will vary from month to month depending on usage patterns.

    If your business has a low power factor then you can improve this by installing corrective equipment like capacitors that help to decrease your total electricity demand.

  • Shifting load

    You can use simple manual methods like setting limits on the time you use appliances or apparatus – based on ToU tariff periods – to change when you use electricity and save money.

  • Voltage optimisation

    If your place of work does not have a dedicated transformer, you may benefit from installing a voltage optimiser at the main switchboard to dynamically control the output voltage to the ‘ideal’ range.

  • Solar PV and batteries

    The large roofs of some commercial, industrial and retail buildings make solar PV a viable option for generating some of your own electricity. Solar hot water may also be beneficial for hospitality businesses like hotels.

    We are proud members of the Clean Energy Council and their accredited installers can advise on designs and plans for large-scale systems. Please ensure you compare the potential outcomes of a solar system and how it may impact other alternatives for energy efficiency as part of the business case.

    If you choose to go down this path then you will also need to liaise with us so we can pre-approve any connection to the network – enabling the export of any excess power you generate.

    Batteries can be an integral part of your overall energy management system, but it has been shown that a holistic energy system – integrating batteries with renewable energy sources, standby generators and the grid – can provide the optimum energy solution for your business.

    The benefits of this include better demand management, power quality issue mitigation and a lowering of energy consumption costs while still providing a reliable source of back-up power.

  • Energy management system

    This is a computerised control system that manages electricity load so not all appliances run at the same time. It can also involve:

    • Adopting energy efficient lighting controlled by timed devices.
    • Installing inverters on variable speed drives and pumps which can control start-up demand and efficiency outcomes.
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